UN document admits WHO badly fumbled response to Ebola

UN document admits WHO badly fumbled response to Ebola

Agency says “nearly everyone” involved in the response failed to notice the potential for Ebola’s explosive spread.

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LONDON — The World Health Organization has admitted it botched the attempt to stop the now-spiraling Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff and a lack of information.

In a draft internal document obtained by The Associated Press, the agency says “nearly everyone” involved in the response failed to notice the potential for Ebola’s explosive spread.

The agency acknowledged that its own bureaucracy was a problem, pointing out that the heads of WHO country offices in Africa are “politically motivated appointments” made by the WHO regional director for Africa.

At a meeting of WHO’s experts on outbreaks in June, a senior WHO official alerted the agency’s chief that some national health agencies and medical charities thought WHO was “compromising rather than aiding the response” to the Ebola crisis.

Related reading: The MSF is overwhelmed. So why are they in charge of the Ebola fight? 

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